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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. University of North Carolina EE-NC-0140
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-00592-UA-WWD ( M.D. N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 7, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the University of North Carolina in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The DOJ alleged that the defendant discriminated against two female ... read more >
On August 7, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the University of North Carolina in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The DOJ alleged that the defendant discriminated against two female employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment. The DOJ sought injunctive relief to enjoin the defendant from failing or refusing to take appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to combat the effects of discrimination, including an effective program to address and prevent sexual harassment; and monetary relief for the two female employees. The DOJ alleged this sexual harassment created a hostile work environment for the female employees.

On August 17, 2007, the two female employees of UNC and its component institution, North Caroline Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) filed a motion to intervene. On October 1, 2007, the Court (Judge Wallace Dixon) granted the motion to intervene as plaintiff-intervenors, and both plaintiffs filed intervenor complaints. The first intervenor plaintiff alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor, including conditioning her employment on agreeing to his advances and lewd, offensive remarks; and that her employer knew of the harassment, did not take any action and even promoted the supervisor. The second intervenor plaintiff alleged similar facts of sexual harassment, but she also alleged that she was retaliatory discharged after making complaints about the supervisor's conduct. She sought damages for discrimination and retaliation.

On December 27, 2007, the intervenor plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate the present case with Gloria Adams Smoot v. The University of North Carolina, Case No. 1:07-CV-00812. The plaintiff in that case also alleged sexual harassment on the hands of the same supervisor with knowledge of the employer, and discharge in retaliation. The motion was granted on January 9, 2008 and the cases were consolidated for pre-trial procedures and discovery.

On February 5, 2008, the case was referred to mediation. However, the case settled prior to mediation. On April 28, 2008, the Court (Judge Thomas D. Schroeder) entered a consent decree. The decree applied to both UNC and A&T, and only resolved the dispute with respect to two intervenor plaintiffs.The decree contained two general injunctions: 1) prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex; 2) prohibition of retaliation. The defendant agreed to modify its anti-discrimination policies and procedures with respect to sexual harassment and hostile work environment in the following ways: 1) clarification of complaints procedures as to what is available, including posting links on their website; 2) ensuring confidentiality of complainants; 3) posting of information in public places; 4) mandatory training on equal employment law, subject to approval by the United States. The defendant agreed to keep records to allow monitoring by the United States. Two intervenor plaintiffs received awards of $29,000 and $26,000 (total of $55,000). The defendant agreed to provide them with neutral references in the future. The Court retained jurisdiction over the decree. The decree was to dissolve after two years from its entry. On May 23, 2008, two intervenor plaintiffs filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.

Zhandos Kuderin - 07/18/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Neutral/Positive Reference
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) University of North Carolina
Plaintiff Description United States government on behalf of two female police officers in employment of University of North Carolina
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - 2009
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:07−cv−00592 (M.D. N.C.) 05/23/2008
EE-NC-0140-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/07/2007
EE-NC-0140-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint of Intervenor-Plaintiff Tasha Murray 10/01/2007
EE-NC-0140-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint of Intervenor-Plaintiff Mattie Smith 10/01/2007
EE-NC-0140-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree Between the United States and the University of North Carolina 04/28/2008 (M.D. N.C.)
EE-NC-0140-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice 05/23/2008
EE-NC-0140-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dixon, Wallace W. (M.D. N.C.) [Magistrate]
EE-NC-0140-9000
Schroeder, Thomas D. (M.D. N.C.)
EE-NC-0140-0004 | EE-NC-0140-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0004
Blutter, Sarah C (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0001 | EE-NC-0140-9000
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0001
Grant, Elaine J. (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0001 | EE-NC-0140-0004 | EE-NC-0140-9000
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0001
Lingle, R.J (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0002 | EE-NC-0140-0003
Puryear, David (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0002 | EE-NC-0140-0003 | EE-NC-0140-0005
Tunnage, D W (District of Columbia)
EE-NC-0140-0004
Wagoner, Anna Mills (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Cooper, Roy (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0005
Scherer, John P II (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0004 | EE-NC-0140-0005 | EE-NC-0140-9000
Ziko, Thomas J (North Carolina)
EE-NC-0140-0004 | EE-NC-0140-0005 | EE-NC-0140-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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